Muscles Used in Skiing – How can You Train?

Muscles Used In Skiing

You don’t need to be particularly muscular if you are a skier. However, training the right muscles can have a significant effect on your performance. Tiring muscles during a ski session could lead to injury. It will also hinder your performance. However, training the muscles used in skiing will improve your performances and results.

Most of the muscles in your body are used during a ski session. Whether you are braking or whether you are going at full speed down a slope. You must train these muscles and know what to target. The aim of this article should provide you with the information to do just that. It is also to improve the strength of the muscles used for skiing.

Keep in mind that skiing is not only about having strong muscles. In this article, you will learn that the fitness and endurance of these muscles are just as important. You might be big and strong, but skiing is for those that can endure when the pain sets in.

Most important Muscles used while Skiing

Knowing which muscles are the skiing muscles will give you a good idea of which muscles to train. However, you also need to test yourself to see your current state before improving them. Here, we will focus on which muscles to train and how to train them.

1. Abs And Core

Fortunately, this muscle group is also heavily used during everyday activities. Most people should have the basic core strength to get them through one or two ski sessions each day. However, you might feel some stiffness the following day.

To understand how this muscle group is affected we have to look at some of the basics of skiing. When you first start skiing, you will be placing plenty of focus on staying on the skis. To effectively remain on your skis will require some balance and this is often achieved by contracting the core muscles. The harder you make your core, the more stability you have.


woman on yoga mat doing crunches

Next, you have to look at how skiing affects the movement of the body. You will be moving and twisting your body around slopes and obstacles and these will have an impact on your abs and core muscles. They are responsible for keeping you on your skis when you lose balance. If you cannot hold your upper body in the correct position while skiing, you might fall over.

Core training exercises you might want to try

A common misconception when looking at training routines is that you have to build these muscles. Using weights to build up the abs is not the best way to improve your core for skiing. It should be much more effective for you to focus on some resistance exercises to ensure that you achieve core stability. Here are a few that we recommend:

  • Plank: When performing the plank exercise, you are simulating the process of core contraction. Not only will you get used to these contractions, but the muscles will also strengthen to make this better.
  • Side Plank: Side plank is a variation of the plank exercise and it forces you to tilt the focus to the side of the core. It is very similar to plank and will ensure that you can turn and maintain balance on the skis.
  • Hip Lifts: Since your pelvic muscles form a part of the core muscles, you will need to train these muscles around the hips. Doing hip lifts is a great way to improve the strength of these muscles.

If you are using a personal trainer, they might come up with even more exercises that you can do to improve the strength of your core. However, these are three easy exercises that you can do regardless of where you are. Many people perform them in the comfort of their homes.

2. Lower Body

Ask any person with some experience skiing, and they will tell you how hard skiing can be on your lower body. While the effects are not as prominent on the calves, they focus more on the glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings. You will need to bend through many corners and even bend before jumping or landing over obstacles.

One can argue that the legs are even more important than the core. Especially, when it comes to keeping you on the skis. Your lower body needs strengthening if you want to remain upright. Once again, you don’t want to focus too much on building these muscles. Skiers don’t need all the excess weight that many bodybuilders carry around.

Once again, we would like to recommend that you consider some resistance exercises to improve the strength of your leg muscles. Endurance is what you are looking for. It means that you would want to hold the pressure on the location for as long as possible. It will help you build these muscles, but the emphasis is on endurance.

Lower body training exercises you might want to try

While there are plenty of exercises that you could perform, you will ideally want to focus on resistance training. We have identified some of the top isolation and resistance exercises for the lower body. These should help you strengthen these muscles for skiing:

  • Resistance Band Squats: if you have a resistance band, you can fix it around your knees and perform squats. You don’t need any weight at all, and you should focus on perfect movements and endurance.
  • Lunges: You can ask almost any personal trainer what the best leg training exercise is, and lunges will be one of their answers. Lunges target the complete upper leg, and since you can control the movement, you can transform it into a resistance exercise.

woman doing lunges and stretching outdoors

  • Calve Raises: Your calves will also have to endure plenty when you ski. While they don’t need to be big, you will need to strengthen them to ensure they can endure and to reduce the possibilities of dealing with cramps.

Once again, there are plenty of different exercises, and when you work out in the gym, you should improve the endurance and strength of your legs. However, these are some of the best exercises to help with skiing muscles.

3. Complete Fitness

We have now focused on the core and lower body. However, you should keep in mind that it is not only about the muscles. Fitness also plays an important role when it comes to skiing, and you need to make sure that your fitness levels are at the right level. Not being fit can lead to your muscles giving in and even making bad decisions.

Whether you ski at a professional or beginner level, you need to be comfortable when tired. The best way to ensure that you improve your fitness is by visiting the gym. However, you should focus on doing High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT is not primarily focused on fitness. However, fitness is one of the byproducts.

The main goal of HIIT exercises is to train the complete body, and you will be training every muscle you have. You should be able to see how these affect your skiing experience when you feel much better, and you have better fitness.

Fitness training exercises you might want to try

Fitness is a broad term, and when we refer to fitness, it is all about stamina. Much like Formula One drivers deal with tiredness when driving, you will need to deal with fatigue when skiing. You must have the capacity to make vital decisions when you start feeling tired. Here are some exercises to try:

  • Jogging: Jogging is the most basic way to train your overall body and improve fitness. It can be done at the gym, or you might like jogging around town.
  • HIIT: We have already mentioned HIIT. However, it is one of the best training regimens that target all the muscles in the body and improves your overall fitness levels.
  • Sprinting: Skiing is fast. You need to concentrate at speeds. While it is hard to replicate this in the real world, you can start with sprinting. Much like jogging, it targets the complete body.

Running is the primary focus we have here, and it is proven as one of the most effective ways of improving your fitness. You might want to take a break now and again. It is the perfect opportunity for incorporating some of the other suggestions in the article. You should focus on the lower body and core as much as possible.

fit man doing exercises


Many people might have a misconception that skiing is all about skill. However, fitness and muscles strength can be the difference between a good skier and a great skier. The more you train the muscles used for skiing, the better results you will have. You will also find that overcoming obstacles becomes much easier.

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